Courtesy: Himalayan Wanderer
Pangarchulla Peak is one of the best Himalayan Summit Trek one can do in April. The 14,700 feet peak is not a technical juggernaut. Yet, a casual approach can cost you a well-earned summit glory.
Keep in mind the five recommendations that will maximise your Summit chance.
#1. Time your trek right
Pangarchulla Peak Snow Trek is best done in the last week of April. By then the snow at the lower grounds has melted. This helps in establishing a Base Camp. The Ponies now can reach Khullara Camp. This is helpful for load ferrying purpose.
Trekking Tip: Check with your Guide on the snow conditions. This year it snowed less than usual. We saw less snow in March end compared to April-2015.
#2. Establish an Advance Base Camp
This is something most Trek Guides and Trek Operators don’t want to disclose. If you want to maximise Summit success, establish an Advance Base Camp ahead of Khullara. The coordinates of Advance Camp is 3.5 kilometres ahead of Khullara Camp. This is keeping on the Lord Curzon Trail from where the trek route to Pangarchulla and Kuari pass forks out. Refer to Trek Map for coordinates.
Advantages of establishing an Advance Base Camp
- Maximise chances of a Summit success.
- The best place to camp if you want to trek to Kuari Pass.
- Sunset view from the campsite is breathtaking.
Trekking Tip: Establishing ABC can be a logistical challenge. Ponies will not reach here due to excess snow. It is a porter driven trek. The campsite is set on an ice-field. Be prepared with all the necessary gears to establish a camp, expedition style.
#3. Adhere to Turn Around Time
Your Turn Around Time should be not later than 12 noon. In case you are planning the summit attempt from Khullara Base Camp then 11 am. If the weather worsens, it is wise to abort the climb for the day. Return to your nearest camp.
What is Turn Around Time?
The time of day at which climbers must turn back to descend. The unanticipated slow going can cause climbers to reach the summit late. Bad weather can jeopardise summit success and safety.
#4. Make an early start on Summit Day
You need to start not later than 3 am in the morning from Khullara Campsite. It takes 6 to 7 hours to reach the summit. For those starting from Pangarchulla-ABC, start by 6 am.
#5. Use Climbing Gear on Summit Day
Ok, this is critical. Carry a Climbing Rope, Ice Axe, and Micro Spike. A Micro Spike is a lighter alternative to Crampons. They are lightweight and easy to wear. They provide excellent traction on slippery snow.
Don’t forget to be harnessed to a rope in the final 100-meter section.
Have an exhilarating and a safe Climb.